Just over two years ago when three time Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown announced the formation of AB Motorsports he had the goal of one day fielding his own Top Fuel operation in the NHRA’s Camping World Series.
While the timeline was fluid, Antron was originally targeting the start of the 2021 season for AB Motorsports to make its on track debut which would allow him all of 2020 to get everything in order while he made the transition from ‘hired driver’ to owner-driver. Then came COVID-19 and the pandemic and all of the delays and disruptions that came with that threw a huge wrench into his plans and delayed the team launch by a year. With the 2022 NHRA pre season testing kicking off today at the PRO Nitro Spring Training in Chandler, Arizona, Antron is experiencing a ‘pinch me’ moment as he finally gets to enjoy seeing his dreams and hard work become a reality as he takes the AB Motorsports/Toyota Top Fuel dragster on it’s inaugural ride.
“It feels very surreal to actually be in this spot,” said Antron, who is celebrating his silver 25th NHRA season in 2022. “This has been a long time coming, not just for me, but for my entire team and all of our wonderful sponsors who have joined us on this new adventure. All of the members of this operation have a vested stake in it, and we’re all doing this together. It feels so good to open a new chapter, and have a fresh start here in 2022.”
The 2022 season is set to feature a slew of new team owners including Antron’s former Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps and motorsports legend Tony Stewart. Brown has long been considered an industry trailblazer and is very proud to have led by example as others have opted to follow suit into NHRA team ownership territory.
“It’s great that so many have the ambition to strive to better themselves and create new opportunities for themselves and their families. To see all of these new teams joining the fray in ’22 with TSR (Tony Stewart Racing), and Ron Capps, and a few others like Josh Hart going full-time racing, it’s definitely the new norm in NHRA. The sport is cultivating the next crop of owners, and that’s important in order to continue to grow the sport and keep it progressing forward to new levels. It’s a vision I’ve had for a long time, and the more people to take the leap with me, we can lean on each other and help each other to grow.”
While Antron may have had more time overall to assemble his operation than his fellow newly minted NHRA team owners he still very much felt the grind of quickly needing to pull everything together in order to be ready for the 2022 season. With that now behind him, he’s able to put his energy into being competitive on the race track and positioning himself as a bonafide title contender in 2022.
When asked about his short and long term goals, Antron had this to say, ““First and foremost, we needed to get to testing and we did that. he trucks made it to Phoenix on Tuesday, the guys unloaded, and we’re ready to make some runs today. And then, we want to qualify well at Pomona and take it one round at a time. I have a lot of confidence in our team with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, and car chief Brad Mason to lead us and compete for a championship the first year out. Long term, the goal is for AB Motorsports to be a multi-car organization, and to help and support other teams to achieve their goals. If we all grow, the sport grows together.
“We have to work hard and put the hours in. We have to keep learning. We made some great strides at the end of 2021 and we need to stay up on all of the new technologies and parts and pieces available to help us win. We want to be at the forefront of that and we’ll have to do that to stay very competitive with the great competition we’ll see in the nitro ranks this season.”
AB Motorsports will be testing for three days at PRO Nitro Spring Training, February 10th – 12th at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park before heading to Pomona, California for the NHRA’s season opening Winternationals, February 18th – 20th.